Saturday, 21 April 2012

Kingdom above the clouds, Zomba plateau

One of the most historical sites in Malawi has definitely got to be the quiet town of Zomba. Full of historical buildings and sites it seems like time has stood still for years. Zomba is a colonial town in Malawi and it was the original capital city of the warm heart before the current capital, Lilongwe.  As the other towns and cities are changing rapidly, Zomba still has an essence of heritage and is a longstanding testament of how far the country has come since breaking its colonial chains.

Zomba sits in the shadow of a massive plateau.  The famous plateau which is situated among the mountains, high above the surrounding area bears a striking resemblance to Hogsback from Lord of the Rings, with the Amatola Basin far below it. And it is rumoured to have inspired parts of the book.

So on the drive to Zomba, before you even come close to the town, the plateau is clearly visible, you definitely couldn’t miss it. And when we got to the town we took the spiraling tarmac road that leads to the top, and the views were amazing. The plateau overlooks a number of landmarks such as the Shire river valley and Mulanje Mountain.

Cypress, Mexican pine and unique Mulanje Cedar carpet the plateau as well as some other weird and wonderful. It’s an evergreen paradise.

Once we arrived at the top, we passed popular places on the plateau such as Mulunguzi dam and Ku Chawe Inn before we arrived at our destination, the trout farm. 

Camping is literally the way to go, but if you would prefer a bed and a place with solar power, then there are wooden cabins available.

It was quiet, cool and peaceful.... until we arrived of course. We were virtually the only people in the area apart from the caretakers. There was just something about the place that amazed me; it felt like nothing else mattered. It’s funny, but you have to go camping to understand what I’m talking about, with no electricity and technology you actually focus on the important things in life.

Streams carve all over the plateau as some gigantic trees tower over it. The walks are stunning, taking you to some of the most spectacular places in Malawi.

Honestly it was an amazing experience, with amazing views and with amazing friends. A perfect way to get away for a while.